Study Damps Fears on Autism Change

Shirley Wang:

Proposed new diagnostic criteria for autism don’t appear to reduce the number of children diagnosed with that condition, according to preliminary data presented at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting on Sunday.
Those findings could damp the controversy that has surrounded suggested changes to the main psychiatric diagnostic manual in the U.S., the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, about how autism and related disorders that are characterized by social impairments and repetitive behavior are categorized.
One of the main changes, which has yet to be finished, recommends combining several disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome and “pervasive developmental delay not otherwise specified,” with autism into one broad category known as autism-spectrum disorder.